[BenIndy editor: For updated results check out Solano County Registrar of Voter’s Sept 14 election results here. As of Thursday Sept 16, breakdown results by City and precinct are not yet available. 12,500 to 23,000 ballots are received but not yet processed, mostly vote-by-mail ballots. Unofficial results as of Sept 16 show 2/3 voting NO by mail and 2/3 of a much smaller number voting YES on election day. As of today, 111,000+ voted by mail, and only 15,000+ voted on election day. – R. S.]
Solano was the Bay Area county most receptive to the Newsom recall
The Bay Area overwhelmingly opposed the Gavin Newsom recall, with San Francisco, Marin and Alameda counties all rejecting the recall at a rate of more than 80%.
But while almost every county in the Bay Area is currently reporting more than 70% of voters opposed to the recall, one Bay Area county flirted with the idea of a recall more than any other: Solano County.
The Governor must get 50% or we will be stuck with a right-wing TRUMP nut!
Like many of you, I’ve been slow to get on board with the VOTE NO campaign. It seemed a long shot that the Republicans could win.
Then – !!!! I discovered that Newsom is only just barely polling over the required 50%. If we don’t get our votes in, we could find ourselves in an incredible mess.
Do it today. >> On your ballot, fill in the NO BOX at the top. Don’t need to vote any name on question 2. Just stuff your NO ballot into the yellow envelope, SIGN YOUR NAME under the flap, and seal the envelope.
BEST NOT TO MAIL YOUR BALLOT at this late date!(They CAN be mailed in as long as the P.O. postmarks them by Sept 14, but you can’t rely on the P.O. these days….) You can drop your ballot off locally anytime up until election day September 14, and curbside dropoff is available starting TODAY! See below.
INDOORS DROP OFF – BALLOT RETURN & VOTING ADDRESSES
August 16 to September 14, voters can drop off ballots at the following locations. (Drop Boxes are inside office buildings.)
STARTING TODAY SEPT 9 – “CURBSIDE” DROP-OFF LOCATIONS
Sept. 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14, voters can drop off ballots “Curbside” at the following locations. (Stay in your car, hand ballot to poll workers)
ON ELECTION DAY, SEPTEMBER 14, ballots can be dropped off at any location listed above, plus the poll-place locations listed below.
State Sen. Bill Dodd’s recent bout with vertigo has nothing to do with the dizzying feeling he gets seeing the number of names — 46 — on the California Gubernatorial Recall Election ballot hitting mailboxes this week.
Not that Dodd, a former Republican, is concerned about potential replacements for Gavin Newsom. It’s the two boxes — “Yes” and “No” — he’s focusing on, backing up his support of the Democrat governor with a $75,000 mailer campaign.
The state’s Department of Finance says the recall election is costing taxpayers roughly $215.2 million — money Dodd believes “would go a long way of funding so many projects like improving Highway 37. There are so many needs. The idea we’re going to spend it on a sham recall effort doesn’t rise to the level of what I call good government.”
Just short of 1.5 million verified signatures were needed to trigger a statewide ballot. The state verified roughly 1.6 million signatures.
Recall organizers claim government overreach has led to dissatisfaction with Newsom’s leadership. They cite his executive order to phase out gasoline-powered cars by 2035 and rolling power outages to prevent wildfires, among other issues. They also cite a number of issues surrounding his handling of the coronavirus.
“There are a lot of people out there for some reason or other want to support this recall,” Dodd said by phone. “It’s my firm belief that a lot of things that have gone on — COVID-19, wildfires, utility shut-offs — since he became the chief executive officer of this state would happen no matter who is the governor of the state. He had little or no control over those things happening.”
Of the 22 million registered voters in California about 10 million (or 46%) are Democrat and 5 million (24%) are Republicans. The remaining 6.5 million (30%) are independents or registered to other parties, according to the most recent Report of Registration from the California Secretary of State released in February.
Newsom was elected in 2018, beating Republican challenger John Cox 61.9 % to 38.1%.
The thought of a sitting governor with that overwhelming a victory losing his job to someone with a comparatively minuscule portion of the vote on a crowded ballot doesn’t sit right with Dodd.
“They (recall supporters) are counting on this as their ‘January 6 opportunity’ to overturn the government, but doing it through a recall,” Dodd said, alluding to the failed takeover of the U.S. Capitol.
“This is what happens when either party can go too far,” said Dodd. “These are reactionary times.”
A main figure of that Capitol insurrection, an Arizona man wearing U.S. flag colors face paint, a furry hat and horns, is featured prominently on Dodd’s “Vote No” mailer. Another version of the mailer includes a photograph of the U.S. Capitol building from Jan. 6.
“His point is that the same people who stormed the Capitol are the same people who want to recall Newsom,” said Dodd spokesman Paul Payne.
Dodd is banking on the registered voter party difference to secure Newsom’s remaining term, set to end in January of 2023. Endorsed by Newsom in the 2016 state senate election, Dodd funded the mailout — “Are You Going to Let Them Win?” — as a reminder to vote and vote “No.”
“I think if the people of the state of California turn out and vote on this, I don’t think the chances are very good he will get recalled,” Dodd said. “I think we need to peel back the onion a little bit and stop and think what has been accomplished in terms of policies on climate change, trying to get a handle on the homeless, our budgets and what we’re investing in.”
“I ask that people just vote and let their voices be heard,” Dodd said, believing that “organizers of this recall see this as an opportunity to use COVID-19 and some of these other issues to try and move him out. They have a much better chance of getting someone elected through a recall than with a traditional election.”
Dodd believes recall supporters are counting on the heavy Democratic advantage to be distracted by the pandemic and forgo voting.
“If we don’t vote, we let them potentially win,” he said. “We know that if Democrats and independents vote in large numbers, this recall will fail.”
Dodd declined to speculate how a failed recall could backfire on Republicans.
“I’m not looking for a pound of flesh after this. For me, it’s about having them fail on this issue,” he said. “I’m happy to debate them or work with them on other issues that make sense for everyone who lives in the state or certainly in my district.”
Dodd believes there needs to be “some narrow criteria, whether a governor, legislator or local elected official” can be recalled. He cited Placerville, which is trying to recall four of its five council members because they want to “change the look of Main Street,” according to a recall organizer.
“That’s what elections are for,” Dodd said. “That’s direct democracy put in for a reason.”
Dodd, D-Napa, represents District 3, including all of Napa and Solano counties and parts of Contra Costa, Yolo and Sonoma counties.
California businesses will be able to require vaccine verification
Vallejo Times-Herald, by Emily Deruy & Solomon Moore, June 18, 2021
Don’t call it a “vaccine passport,” Gov. Gavin Newsom insists. But California is poised to roll out some sort of electronic vaccine verification system to help residents show businesses and others that they are inoculated against the coronavirus.
Promising more details in the coming days, Newsom earlier this week touted that the state is working on a digital version of the official paper immunization cards that people received when they got their shots. How the system will work, who will have access to it, and when it will launch are among the critical questions that the governor’s office did not respond to Wednesday.
But the growing anticipation comes as dozens of competing efforts for everything from personalized apps to unique registries are stirring up confusion and privacy concerns as California sheds its pandemic restrictions and fully reopens this week.
While details remain scarce about how the state’s vaccine verification system will fit in, a couple of things are clear.
For one, people won’t be required to use the system, Newsom said. But if you want to, say, attend a concert or book a flight, businesses will be able to require verification in the same way they can continue to require masks even though the state, with a few exceptions, no longer mandates them.
“Businesses have freedom of choice across the spectrum,” Newsom said Monday.
California would not be the first to unveil a statewide verification system. In March, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched the Excelsior Pass, a digital pass developed with the help of IBM that lets residents share their vaccination status or COVID-19 test results. Businesses can verify the information but don’t have access to personal health data.
Advocates of vaccine passports and verification systems say they can help residents and businesses get back to normal safely. They could ease access to concerts, baseball games, university campuses and other places where vaccination status matters.
“I think it makes sense on every level,” said John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert and professor emeritus at UC Berkeley, who has been consulting with businesses.
“They would very much like to use a vaccine passport, but they don’t want to make the decision to do it,” Swartzberg said, acknowledging that the issue “is a political hot potato for them.”
Opponents of vaccine passports and verification systems have raised privacy and discrimination concerns. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an order banning the use of vaccine passports, and Texas has also banned state agencies and organizations that receive public money from requiring people to prove they’ve been jabbed.
The federal government has said it will not create a nationwide system or passport, leaving states, local governments and the private sector to choose whether to tackle vaccine verification, with a number of options emerging.
ID2020, a San Francisco-based collaborative of international civil society organizations and multinational travel, financial and technology companies, has been seeking to link digital identities with vaccine distribution since its founding in September 2019, before the coronavirus hit. Earlier this month, the group published a white paper called the Good Health Pass Interoperability Blueprint that is intended to standardize the cacophony of vaccine credentialing systems being built across the planet.
The collaborative, whose supporters include Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce, the Rockefeller Foundation, Deloitte and others, are advocating for systems that are digital, interoperable across platforms and jurisdictions, and secure. Other principles at the core of the effort include a commitment to making health passes consensual and flexible enough to accommodate a range of solutions, including mobile and secure physical documentation of vaccinations.
“We’ve seen more than 70 systems that have been proposed, globally,” said Pam Dixon, executive director of World Privacy Forum, an Oregon-based research organization. “I don’t know which system will win, but I do think that the International Air Transport Association system — which is the system that airlines are going to use — may win.”
But Dixon said she is concerned that the speed with which vaccine credential systems are being developed has precluded any transparent process for public involvement in their designs. Dixon also said she is concerned that any digital platforms for vaccine credentialing would put individuals’ privacy at risk because identities will be linked to health data or behaviors that could be exploited by unscrupulous companies and governments.
It’s unclear exactly which verification systems will be put to use where. But for now, in the current absence of a California-wide system, some residents have been showing their physical vaccination cards, photos of the cards or vaccine records on apps such as the CVS Pharmacy app to enter places such as the fully vaccinated sections at San Francisco Giants games at Oracle Park, nursing homes for visits and more. The cards are easy to damage or lose, though, and proponents of a vaccine verification system say the current situation needs to be improved.
“I think it’s unfortunate we don’t have more political leadership doing this,” Swartzberg said. “Ideally it’s an activity the state should take on.”